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Children's Books Celebrating Diversity | World Book Day

Children's Books Celebrating Diversity | World Book Day

World Book Day is a charity that aims to give every child and young person a book of their own. They highlight the importance of reading throughout childhood and how a love for reading can improve children's lives and futures. 

World Book Day is marked in over 100 countries around the globe! Some of our earliest perceptions of the world around us are shaped by the books we read as children, which is why we think it is vital that every child feels included and represented in the literature they love. A 2017 survey conducted by Reflecting Realities showed that only 1% of children's books have a main character from an ethnic minority and only 4% featured any characters from ethnic minorities at all. Whilst these numbers have improved slightly over the years, there is still a huge lack or representation of diverse voices in books for children. That is why we've put together this list featuring some of our favourite kids books by a fantastic range of authors and illustrators that celebrate diversity...

 

Coming to England by Floella Benjamin (Ages 3-5)

Coming to England is a beautifully illustrated picture book that tells the true story of Baroness Floella Benjamin and her journey from Trinidad to London as part of the Windrush generation, to the House of Lords. Floelle tells the story of her and her sister and brothers, travelling alone to be reunited with the rest of their family in a cold and unwelcoming London. This true story will resonate particularly with young children who are moving homes and struggling to make friends. It has a powerful message of optimism, determination and overcoming adversity. 

Shop the book here

 

The Boy With Wings by Sir Lenny Henry (Ages 9-12)

This comedy book from Sir Lenny Henry is full of laugh-out-loud humour (as you'd expect!) interwoven with real messages about friendship, family and a sense of belonging. This hilarious adventure tells the story of Tunde, a normal school boy who discovers he has an extra-ordinary power! With the help of his friends, Tunde must do all he can to save the Earth from total destruction. Illustrated throughout by Keenon Ferrell, this book is sure to have your kids on the edge of their seats! 

Shop the book here.

 

I Love Me! by Marvyn Harrison (Ages 3-5) 

Written by Marvyn Harrison (founder of Dope Black Dads), this book is packed full of positivity. This colourful, up-beat book is perfect for building confidence and self-esteem in young children. This empowering book is full of positive affirmations to help kids be proud of who they are. With joyful statements to start each day, this book provides a fun routine that is easy to put into practise and is great for sharing. Available from 12th May 2022.  

Shop the book here

 

Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela & Chris Van Wyk (Ages 6-8)

Nelson Mandela's famous biography has been specially adapted for children in this beautifully illustrated children's book. With an introduction from Archbishop Desmond Tutu, follow the story of one of the great heroes of our time. From being a little boy, to his fight against apartheid to becoming South Africa's first black president. This true story is bound to inspire readers both young and old. 

Shop the book here.

 

The Breakfast Club Adventures by Marcus Rashford & Alex Falase-Koya (Ages 8-11)

The first fiction book by England International footballer, child food-poverty campaigner and #1 bestselling author Marcus Rashford MBE, this story is inspired by Marcus' own experiences growing up. Packed full of friendship, adventure, community and fun, this illustrated book captures the beauty of individuals coming together. 

Shop the book here

 

I Am Perfectly Designed by Karamo Brown (Ages 3-5)

From Karamo Brown, star of the Netflix hit Queer Eye, is an empowering story about loving yourself exactly the way you are. This beautiful story was written with Karamo's son, Jason, and follows a boy and his father as they spend the day together. Perfect for reading together, this book celebrates our differences as well as the unbreakable love between a parent and their child.  

Shop the book here

 

Red Leaves by Sita Brahmachari (Ages 9-12) 

Following the story of Aisha, a thirteen-year-old Somalian refugee living in London, Red Leaves tells the story of unlikely friendship, community, culture and the people in the world around us. A beautiful, heart-wrenching tale of a multi-cultural Britain, the characters in this novel come from diverse backgrounds but build a sense of community within each other. Perfect for older children or even adults. 

Shop the book here.  

 

We hope you found this list helpful for adding some more diverse voices to your children's book shelf. You can find out more about World Book Day here. A big thank you to Rebecca for your expertise and helping to put this list together. 

 

 

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